Life gets hectic at times and we keep busy with “life as usual” which often doesn’t leave much time for extra curricular activities like updating my blog. Well, today’s the day – I think. It’s been quite a while since I last wrote so we’ll see how this goes.
On March 20, 2020 we’d been looking forward to the three day holiday here in Coffee Country. “Saint Joseph’s Day” is a religious holiday about which most folks have no idea here other than “it’s a holiday, GREAT!”. In the past we’ve used it as a great time to go drive up the Nevado de Ruiz as it’s usually at the peak of snow season up there, the scenery is amazing and one gets to experience a bit of winter just a few hundred miles north of the equator. But that plan hasn’t worked for years, not since the volcano became active again. And this year any such plans became moot as the alcalde declared a three day “simulation” in which all residents of our municipal area were ordered to “shelter in place” and not go out except for very narrowly defined activities.
Just when we were asking “simulation” of what? the president announced a nation wide lockdown to go into effect on Tuesday, March 24 at 12:01 a.m. and to last until April 13 at 12:01 a.m. (If I Recall Correctly – going from memory here) So for the past 11 days we’ve been “sheltering in place” and doing our best to keep on doing the work for which we are here – loving people as Christ loves them and teaching them to become His disciples and to fulfill His commandments as He told His apostles to do.
So the past few days have been “interesting”. Our first “Facebook Live” Sunday “gathering” was on March 22 and we had a very good “turnout” as people tuned in from all over town, as well as other parts of the country and even as far north as Oregon state in the U.S. WOW! As we’ve been learning more about internet “live streaming” and such we’ve been trying to become more proficient and have been using this means to encourage people, helping them to look to the Lord instead of listening to the voices of doom and gloom coming from the godless “media”.
Some of the activities for which we are allowed to leave the house are to take care of household pets by walking them for not more than 20 minutes at a time. So we’re grateful for the blessing of having a couple of canine companions which get a chance to get out and stretch their legs a few times during the day. We often meet some of our neighbors who are out doing the same and always look for positive ways to encourage them during this time of nearly universal panic and doubt.
Another reason for exiting the house is to “take care of pet medical emergencies”. Last week I remembered that it was close to time for their shots – a quick look at their records showed we were a few days past. So we loaded them into the car and off we went (the dogs and I) to the vets’ place. But on our way we stopped at the grocery store, another reason we’re allowed to stray from home, where I parked in the shade, rolled the windows down a bit and went to purchase some groceries for families in need. Several people had transferred funds to my account for such an expenditure so I was able to buy groceries for four families while on the way to the vets’.
Our dogs must be defective as they LOVE to go see the vets. So in we went, greeted each other from a safe distance and soon the girls were examined, found healthy and vaccinated. As this lovely couple are also members of our congregation it was a blessing to get in on “semi-traditional style” visitation in the midst of what is quickly becoming “non-traditional ministry”. After checking on their mental and spiritual health in the midst of the current situation we had a brief time of prayer and then it was off for home, by the “short cut”.
Yes, the short cut. You know that often the “short cut” is both longer in time and distance and takes one by non-direct paths, that’s the one we took home as it allowed me to stop by the church building to empty the pantry of perishable items, then drop by a couple of homes to deliver some of the groceries purchased earlier. What a blessing to be able to bless others during this time of need.
So we’ve been doing nightly “meetings” in which we transmit some songs and give an encouraging bit of God’s word to those who “tune in” on Facebook Live. We praise God for the blessing of having the means to do this non-traditional type ministry as several have shared with us how this time has blessed them.
Until next time…